Increasing customer and consumer demand for a greater variety of cooked egg products is prompting companies to invest in new facilities across north America.
Cargill announced this week that it will pour in $20m to expand its egg processing facility at Big Lake, Minnesota, enabling the plant to pasteurise, mix and cook a number of additional egg products for foodservice and protein ingredient customers.
The expansion will double the facility’s annual requirement from family farms in the area to 170m. Construction begins next month and the additional facilities will be functional in January 2019.
It is just the latest of egg processing expansions by Cargill, which invested $27m at its Lake Odessa, Michigan plant in 2016 and $12m at Mason City, Iowa last year.
Jared Johnson, Cargill Big Lake plant general manager, said the rise in the number of people moving in to the middle class and improvement in global economies around the world were reasons for the ongoing increase in investment.
“Economies are improving. More people are moving into the middle class and the world population is expected to reach 9 billion by 20250. These factors are driving significantly increased demand for animal protein around the world,” he said.
Last year Montana Eggs opened a new $98m, 58,000 square foot egg grading facility in Great Falls, enabling it to process more than 280m eggs annually from a supply of 1.2m chickens.
Statistics from the American Egg Board show per capita consumption continuing to grow following the downturn in 2015 when 256.3m eggs per person were consumed. That figure rose to 274.7m in 2016 and latest estimates for last year put the figure at 275.2m